Maternity drives wage gap

Utah State University’s Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Christy Glass has currently conducted a study that determines maternity, not gender, drives the wage gap in today’s labor market.Dr. Glass interviewed 40 diverse employers in the global finance sector who she says employ “large numbers of highly-skilled, highly-educated, professional women” and discovered a universal concept. “They all said, ‘we hire women. We think it’s critical to hire women in this field.’ But they don’t hire mothers,” she says. “When women have children they do their best to weed mothers out because they don’t see mothers as able to kind of meet those demands.” The stigma surrounding maternity translates into less income. “The gap between what mothers can earn and non-mothers can earn, regardless of gender, is really driving the gender wage gap today,” Dr. Glass states. “An explanation is that employers tend to see mothers, not women, but mothers less competent, less committed to their jobs, less able to meet the high demands of a career.”Dr. Glass has already accomplished the first few steps of her research and plans on scientifically compiling the information to publish her findings in scholarly journals. Her study will add to the latest research charting workplace perceptions. “Discrimination has changed,” she says. “I don’t think employers have the same biases towards women but I see a lot of biases against mothers are still there.”

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